Trump's 'Madness' Would Win a Better Brexit Deal, Admits Boris Johnson

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was recorded at a Conservative Party talk behind closed doors admitting that he is "increasingly admiring" of President Donald Trump and that his erratic negotiating strategy may work for Westminster in securing a better Brexit deal to leave the European Union.

"I am increasingly admiring of Donald Trump," Johnson told party activists at a dinner Wednesday night, according to an audio recording leaked to BuzzFeed. "I have become more and more convinced that there is method in his madness."

He described the notion of Trump negotiating Brexit as a "fantastic idea," adding: "How would he approach it is worth thinking about."

"He'd go in bloody hard," Johnson said. "All sorts of breakdowns, there'd be all sorts of chaos. Everyone would think he'd gone mad. But actually, you might get somewhere. It's a very good thought."

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson, the U.K. foreign secretary, said he is "increasingly admiring" of President Donald Trump, particularly the "madness" of his negotiating strategy. Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Johnson also expressed his concern that the final Brexit deal would not be the one many Leave voters in the referendum wanted because London would still be intertwined with the European Union, particularly the customs union and single market.

"So not really having full freedom on our trade policy, our tariff schedules, and not having freedom with our regulatory framework either," Johnson said.

Speaking in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum in January, Trump was asked what he thought of the U.K. approach to Brexit negotiations with Brussels.

"Would it be the way I negotiate? No. I wouldn't negotiate it the way it's being negotiated," he said in a TV interview with Good Morning Britain, though adding that he has respect for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

"I would have had a different attitude. I think I would would have said the European Union is not cracked up to what it's supposed to be and I would have taken a tougher stand in getting out."

When Trump—who supports Brexit—secured the presidency in 2016, he promised to shake up the old order and claimed his extraordinary dealmaking skills would make America more prosperous and respected across the world.

But in doing so Trump has created confusion about America's stance on a number of issues, such as the Paris Climate Agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, and trade, flip-flopping on its past commitments.

America, once a promoter of free trade, has under Trump imposed new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from both allies and key trading partners, including Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Japan, and China.

Trump views this as playing hardball to secure better trading terms for the U.S., which he believes entered into a number of bad deals on trade, explaining its large goods trade deficit.

But those on the other side of the table, particularly American allies, say he is making unreasonable threats and bullying them, undermining their vital relationships with Washington. They are responding with tariffs of their own, sparking fears that a full-blown trade war is coming.

On the North Korea issue, Trump has mixed sanctions and fierce rhetoric—including threats of annihilation—to pressure Pyongyang into coming to the negotiating table after it made significant progress in its program to develop a nuclear missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.

Trump is due to hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore to discuss potential denuclearization. He already unexpectedly called it off once but reversed this decision after receiving a letter from Kim.

His supporters say this historic development with North Korea goes to show that Trump's negotiating strategy works.

But his critics say it risked a devastating war on the Korean Peninsula by raising instead of easing tensions, and that Pyongyang is the winner, rewarded with the kind of recognition and legitimacy that its illicit nuclear program was designed to bring about.

Now we know his negotiating strategy has at least one admirer in the British government—Boris Johnson.